Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday extracts: Wrong time of year

I walked about on my own, a bit lonely.
Suddenly I saw a whole lot of yellow flowers with long stalks.
They were right by a pond under some trees and the wind was
blowing them about a bit.
They seemed to go on and on, great rows of them.
I realised with one look there were masses of them all
moving about on the wind.
Now, when I'm lying on my bed, with nothing to do or feeling
a bit low, I think about those yellow flowers and it sort of
cheers me up, like.

Jill Streatfield
With apologies to Wordsworth

OK - so I know it's the wrong season. But it's funny. Right? 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thursday Extracts: spoilt for choice

What do Hoagy Carmichael (1899),  Benjamin Britten (1913),  George Eliot - real name Mary Ann Evans (1819),  Robert Vaughn (1932) and Tom Conti (1941) have in common?

Those brackets  might give you a clue. Nov 22 is/was their birthday. So do I give you some George Eliot? A bit of Silas Marner, perhaps. If I could find it, I might quote some lines from Terence Frisby's play Rough Justice, which I saw earlier this year, starring Tom Conti.

But I decided to go with this. The lyrics aren't great - but the music is wonderful. (It's written by Hoagy Carmichael, of course.)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday Extracts: On the way to winter

What goes on in the park?
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

From : That time of year thou mayst in me behold (Sonnet 73) by William Shakespeare 

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Thursday Extracts: Out for blood

Thanks to Google for the hint!
Today is Bram Stoker's 165th birthday. So I couldn't really give you anything else could I?

I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting. (Mem., I must ask the Count all about them.)
I did not sleep well, though my bed was comfortable enough, for I had all sorts of queer dreams. There was a dog howling all night under my window, which may have had something to do with it; or it may have been the paprika, for I had to drink up all the water in my carafe, and was still thirsty. Towards morning I slept and was wakened by the continuous knocking at my door, so I guess I must have been sleeping soundly then.

Bram Stoker

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Thursday extracts: not Nano

My Aunt Julia was a remarkable woman.  She was my father’s younger sister and, although I hardly remember the two of them together, the way she always talked of him suggested that they were fond of each other. He was the practical one but she was born with the brains, she said. She outshone him at school and was always destined for a career but surprised everyone when, after A levels, she touted her skills around all the local newspaper offices until she was taken on as a trainee reporter on a weekly near Manchester.


It'll be a long while before this sees daylight in print. It's an extract from my current work in progress. No, it's not even slightly autobiographical.